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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Petition launched to support Irish live exports

Irish Livestock Stakeholders Association – Welfare Group has created a petition entitled: support Irish live exports.

The Irish Livestock Stakeholders’ Association stressed that the purpose of its latest initiative is to “help the general public recognise the importance of livestock exports to farmers, regional communities and the Irish economy”.

In a statement on, Elizabeth Scallan, its chairperson, outlined that the group also wishes to “share the contribution the industry makes to improving nutrition in overseas countries by providing safe sources of meat”.

“Live exports have continued to provide an income to farmers and create employment to thousands of people in regional Ireland in a time when many other areas of the rural economy have been affected. The ban of live exports creates problems both domestically and internationally.”

She stated that from an international perspective, supporting Irish live exports also means supporting the continual development of world-leading animal welfare standards that Irish exporters and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, have developed over decades.

A market void and power of beef factories

Scallan warned of the potential implications a ban of livestock exports would have both in Ireland and across the waters.

If Irish live exports are banned, she stressed, other less experienced, competing countries will step in and fill what would be a “significant” market void.

“For animal welfare, this would be a huge step in the wrong direction. Other exporting countries will not have the same standards and practice implemented in Ireland.”

“From a national perspective, a halt to exports will result in factories dictating beef prices. It is widely known that an industry where beef processors have the monopoly, exporting cattle is vital in creating more competition domestically while maximising the volume of calves moving out. Increased competition ensures market prices and farming incomes remain stable.”

Animal activist groups

She said the association has increasing concerns for the future of the industry. Radical animal activist groups are “constantly” campaigning and have pledged they will not stop until they have banned trade, the chairperson added.

“However, rather than indulging in arguments that put the rights of animals against the welfare of farmers and regional people, while ignoring real facts and consequences for both animals and humans, we need a far more sensible approach to our discussions and actions.”

“As a result, we have created this petition to show the positive effects that Irish live exports have on many people’s lives. If you support Irish farmers and live exports. Please sign this petition.” Scallan concluded.

Group’s objective

The Irish Livestock Stakeholders Association “promotes the welfare of the live export industry” with a core objective to achieve unity across all divisions of the sector. Its mission is to bring everyone together to “build, promote and protect” live exports.

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